When you're chasing after an almost 4 year old, a two and a half year old and have a newborn with some special needs to take care of...
I can't believe we've already been home for four weeks, as of yesterday. And what a busy four weeks it has been. I feel like we're finally starting to get back into some sort of a routine, although it definitely feels like there are simply just not enough hours in the day. Right now, life for JR and me is being lived in 2 to 3 hour blocks, constantly revolving around Jilly's feedings. It is hard and sometimes feels very taxing and almost confining, but she is continuing to make amazing progress (not to mention that when this all began we could only hope to maybe be coming home this week!) so we continue on. She is so, so, SO close to having the feeding tube removed for good. We really only have to use it for one or two feedings a day, unlike when we first came home and it was used with every. single. feeding. Still, we are counting every single milliliter she eats. It's so crazy to think that such a tiny amount can make such a big difference but it does. It seems so tedious, but whatever we're doing, it's working- Jilly is tipping the scales at a hefty 7 pounds 11 ounces these days! Yep, she is now roughly the size of an average newborn and we are SO SO proud of her!
Every week we have an appointment at Children's Hospital in Denver. A lot of times when I tell people this, they see it as a burden. But the fact that we've been home for four weeks, in our own beds, using our own showers and most importantly as a WHOLE family makes it so much easier "having" to drive there every week. Plus, it's kind of a nice break for me... Oli and Athan stay home with JR and Jilly and I have some girl time in the car. Really, she sleeps and I drive, but I guess things really are what you make of them and since I don't have a whole lot of opportunities to have "me time" right now, those drives provide that for me at least once a week : )
We are so proud of how Oli and Athan have adjusted to having a new baby in the house, especially considering the fact that I was gone for 3 1/2 weeks and life was far less than normal for them. They are such amazing big brothers. They are constantly concerned for her and super helpful- although their wanting to help sometimes turns into fights over exactly who gets to help at that particular moment. Just about everyday Oli says, "Her's is cute! Can we keep her, pleeeease!?!?" And Athan says that she is his, "wavorite sister!" (That would be "favorite" for the non-Athan speaking folks out there!)
Somehow adjusting to being a stay-at-home mom of three has been surprisingly... dare I say... easy. Maybe it's because of everything we've gone through, or maybe it's because I had nothing but time to think about our life while I was in the hospital with Jillian, but the transition from two to three has been much smoother than I had expected it to be.
I guess at this point I can summarize by saying that Jillian is doing amazing. She's continuing to grow and thrive and has made her own little place in our family. She's certainly doing her best to show her little personality. JR insists that she is a little diva, but really? Who can blame her after what she's gone through? This is not to say, of course, that we don't have rough days. Life is not all peaches and cream all the time, but I think we've done a decent job so far at least of making the best of a hard situation and staying as positive as we can.
As cliche as it may sound, we are just taking this one day at a time. We're enjoying life as it is as much as we can and reminding each other, and ourselves that these are the only days like this that we are going to have- good or bad. Oli and Athan will only be this age once- right now- and the same can be said for Jilly too. I think we're both conscious of the fact that the days are quickly approaching when we will really start having to think about and plan for and worry about her second surgery, but for now we're just enjoying our family how it is meant to be.